Tidal power being looked at

  • Oct. 19, 2007 5:00 a.m.

The future of tidal power on the islands is the focus of a new study.The federal and provincial governments, along with BC Hydo, have committed $150,000 for a study that will assess the viability of a demonstration tidal power plant on the islands. According to Jake Jacobs, public affairs officer with the provincial Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources, tidal power is still an emerging technology.No commercial tidal power plants exist in the world, although there are several demonstration pilots either operating or in development. The closest project is a 65 kW turbine at Race Rocks at the eastern entrance to the Juan de Fuca Strait. Due to the lack of certainty in the industry, Mr. Jacobs says that tidal power will probably not participate in the call for power that might result from the Community Electricity Plan process. But the information from the study is being shared with Sheltair, the firm in charge of the CEP. Hatch Energy, based in Vancouver, has been retained to carry out the tidal power feasibility study. Queen Charlotte councillor Greg Martin, who is also on the technical committee for the CEP, said 17 people attended a joint Council of the Haida Nation, federal and provincial energy ministries meeting on island (Aug. 30), where Hatch Energy discussed the potential for tidal energy.

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